Avery Johnson and the Nets organization have made their bet — they must convince Deron Williams to sign an extension with the team.
Williams can opt out in the summer of 2012. The Nets traded significant assets to Utah to bring D-Will in, they have to keep him. They have to get talent around him, they have to keep him happy.
Johnson said the Nets can do that, according to the Bergen Record. Of course, he admits that’s the only thing he can say.
“I have no doubt and I’m really, really confident that we’ll be able to re-sign him,” Nets coach Avery Johnson said after practice Wednesday…
“What am I supposed to say, I’m leery?” Johnson said. “All signs that I’ve seen and heard are that as we move forward, he’ll be in a Nets’ uniform.
“Down the road if that changes, I’m not going to be the first person in America or professional sports that [has] had no doubt and it didn’t work.”
Johnson can lay a foundation, build a relationship now. The real work comes during free agency and trade windows in the future (whenever those are after the lockout). D-Will is very competitive. He wants to win. If the Nets prove he can do that in Brooklyn, they will get his signature. And then Johnson’s confidence can seem prophetic.
If the Denver Nuggets front office had gotten their wishes — if they could have traded Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets for Derrick Favors and picks rather than to New York — then Deron Williams would be a Knick today.
In one of the infinite alternate universes that is the reality, but in this one just consider the story Sam Amick tells at NBA Confidential a fun postscript on the Melodrama.
As (Jazz GM Kevin) O’Connor told (Knicks president Donnie) Walsh approximately an hour before the game and would later repeat in an interview with NBA Confidential, he targeted the Nets’ and Knicks’ assets and decided to play the waiting game. Somebody would lose in the Anthony sweepstakes, and that team would immediately hear from O’Connor to discuss a marvelous Plan B….
While Walsh is certainly thrilled to land Anthony, he admitted the notion of landing Williams would have been appealing had he known he was on the market. Asked if things might have turned out differently if he was privy to that information, Walsh said with a shrug when asked by NBA Confidential, “it might have.”
O’Conner said the very public way the Nuggets went about this process was part of what allowed him to track what was and was not available when he would call.
Knicks fans love what they have with Anthony, but would Williams have been a better fit with Amar’e Stoudemire and in the Mike D’Antoni offense?
We’ll never know. Consider it a bit of fan fiction if you want.
Go read the story, which has a lengthy Q&A with O’Conner that includes some thoughts about where the Jazz go from here.
It’s one of those little things we tend not to think about when breaking down trades — Deron Williams life was uprooted and he was shipped across the country while his wife was 8 months pregnant. If you’ve ever had a pregnant wife, you can imagine with me just how well this news might have gone over.
He’s now going to miss the Nets next couple of games to be home with his wife as she gives birth to their child, according to a tweet from Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. Those games are against the Clippers and Warriors. This is Williams’ fourth child.
There is an upside for the Nets — allowing Williams to rest his two sore wrists for a couple days.
Jordan Farmar will get the start and the big minutes while Williams is out.